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Found 42 results

  1. From Thursday, June 16th to Saturday, June 18th, we backpacked into the Ancient Lakes in eastern Washington's Channeled Scablands region and made a 2-night basecamp to explore the area further. We drove in from Oregon hoping to experience a little bit of what eastern Washington has to offer. It was beyond breathtaking! Day 1: We hiked in from the lower trailhead up to Ancient Lakes to camp for two nights. We wanted to take the north cliffside trail, but decided to take the "main" trail into the lakes for the first day instead. Wildflowers lined this trail. We hiked in about two hours before sunset; the colors on the sage-covered fields and rocky cliffsides came alive with color! We didn't see anybody along the hike either, so we had plenty of solitude! We camped at the far end of Ancient Lakes at the second campsite below the back cliff. We were the only ones there that night too. The mosquitos were bad, so be warned! Not as bad as some places I've been, but still an annoyance. But the beauty more than makes up for it. It was about a five hour drive to the trailhead from Portland, Oregon. We got to the trailhead around 6:30 PM, two and a half hours before sunset. The view of the Ancient Lakes as viewed during sunset (taken at 1.9 miles in). More wildflowers! These particular ones were seen all along the first day's hike. View a 360° Photo Sphere from this spot. Rugged cliffs lit up by the sunset. Day 2: On the second day, a few campers came in to camp below us. We went on a day hike up onto the south cliffside and to a vantage point overlooking Dusty Lake. The trail was easy to follow, wildflower-strewn (tons of flowers!), easy to hike, all except for the last tiny section descending the canyon wall. It was steep and slippery, covered in loose scree, fine dust, and talus. Nothing too tricky, but can be a bit slippery. After getting to the bottom, it was a gentle coasting up and down over grassy, wildflower-covered hills back to camp. Round-headed Buckweat carpeting the slopes above the Ancient Lakes. View a 360° Photo Sphere from this viewpoint! This hike featured many different types of wildflowers. Panorama taken from the Dusty Lake Viewpoint. Another image to possibly be submitted to Equestria Daily's "Ponies Around the World" event. Looking back at the way we came. Once we got back to camp, it started to cloud over. Around 10 P.M., it started to rain—lightly at first, gentle though heavy by the next morning. The waterfall across the lake from our tent. Now that I look closer, I can kind of see a faint trail climbing up the left side of the falls. Day 3: On the third day, we hiked out in the rain via the "shortcut" trail, which hugs the north cliff-face (the same trail we wanted to hike in by). It was a wildflower-strewn hike, but the brushy and narrow path meant our pants and shoes got soaked very quickly (not an issue since we were wearing quick-drying synthetics/running shoes, however ). It passed right below a seasonal waterfall and a large boulder/erratic. Hiking out in the rain along the cliff-side trail. While yes, there is farmland surrounding the Ancient Lakes coulee basin, we couldn't really see them from our campsite at the lakes. It feels as if they aren't really there! As if it were sage-covered desert for miles and miles! Along the hike through and above the cliff-faces, you can see more of the farms, but they aren't really a distraction/detraction to the "wilderness" experience, in my opinion. You will be gawking at the amazing views that the Ancient Lakes have to offer. There are also tons (and tons) of campsites, so I guess either this area must get super crowded/full on some weekends, or there's just a lot of space to spread around and choose your site. Most sites seem to be pretty flat and have large fire rings (I guess people bring in their wood?). Some sites even have stone benches to sit on. This is a super easy backpacking trip or day hike, so even families with children could make it. Highly recommended! Photo Sphere Virtual Hike: I took a total of 16 photo spheres! You can view the photo spheres here to take a "virtual hike." They are linked together in the same style as Google Maps Street View.
  2. So now that the summer of 2017 is in full swing, I have been hard at work getting to various places with my ponies. I also recently got a Flutterbat plush to take with me, so I'm excited for that! But first, a few from last year. Just like the photo of Crystal Lake in the original post, this was taken from our campsite at Crystal Lake. The view is of Mount Adams' west face. The Daring Do engraved compass was bought at Everfree NW last year. This was taken from our campsite at Crystal Lake as well, but this time looking north towards Mount Rainier and the Goat Rocks. The view was spectacular! For my last hike of the summer, I made the long 6 hour drive up to Mount Baker and Artist Point to hike the Ptarmigan Ridge Trail. Here is Rainbow Dash in front of Mount Shuksan. Mount Baker is directly opposite of Shuksan (so behind me as I was taking this photo). May, 2017: For my very first hike of the year, I headed out to Columbia Hills State Park in eastern Washington, just north of the Oregon border along the Columbia River Gorge. We did a 7 mile loop hike, finishing off on the Vista Loop Trail. Here is Flutterbat enjoying the fields upon fields of yellow Western Basalmroot and purple Lupine characteristic of the eastern Columbia River Gorge. In the near distance is the mighty Columbia River, the largest river on the west coast. For the second hike of the year, I ventured up the Herman Creek Trail for around 5 miles (10 miles round trip). At the turnaround point for the day, I photographed Rarity among the lush green forests characteristic of northern Oregon and the Columbia River Gorge. For the last hike in may, Fluttershy and I hiked the Dry Creek Trail in southern Washington near the Trapper Creek Wilderness. Here she is enjoying the relaxing sound of the babbling creek. The trail is relatively flat as it follows the gentle uphill grade of the creek. To finish off, here is a photo of my newest custom Flutterbat plush (made by LanaCraft) with my larger Fluttershy plush. I'll be taking the smaller one hiking with me for the rest of this summer.
  3. Just finished my latest hiking video. We did a 6 day trip in the Mount Adams Wilderness in southern Washington state. We started on the west side of the mountain and finished on the northern side. It was an amazing trip! We camped at Riley Meadows, Crystal Lake, Divide Camp, and High Camp; with an extra side-trip up to Glacier Lake. This was also the first time we did any significant off-trail, cross country hiking, too. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJHR0bWWrpw Narrative of Our Journey Our first off-trail hiking section was to Island Lake. This was extremely tough as the route was steep, convoluted, and littered with burned fallen trees to cross over. We camped at Riley Meadow for the first night, set amid lush subalpine meadows, subalpine fir, and an incredible vista of Mount Adams. The next off-trail section was hiking up to Crystal Lake on the second day. This was short, but very steep. There was one particular section with hand-over-foot climbing to get to a "pass" of sorts. The lake was absolutely incredible! It was situated smack dab on top of a ridgeline–so on one side of our campsite was the lake; and on the other side––Mount Adams looming above a steep canyon and drop off. :-o On the third day, it rained hard and we got down from Crystal Lake and made our way to Divide Camp via the Pacific Crest Trail. We crossed the Mutton Creek Lava Flow, which was quite interesting. By the time we neared Divide Camp, the trail was absolutely flooded and we were soaked down to the bone. We made a fire and dried off at camp. Thankfully, since camp was located further down the mountain, the rain died down as descended. The third bit of off-trail hiking was our biggest one yet–our fourth day! First, we crossed the raging Adams Creek, then we deviated off of the Pacific Crest Trail and made our way up to High Camp. The off-trail section here was over one mile of hiking through semi-open forest, wildflower meadows, rocky terrain, snowfields, and one particularly difficult section over a steep boulder field. All in all, though, it felt rather easy going (maybe the adrenaline of the moment ). We stayed at High Camp for two nights. The last section of off-trail hiking was hiking up from High Camp to Glacier Lake, below the foot of Adams Glacier. This was pretty straight forward, but epic nevertheless. We hiked over vast plains of alpine tundra, krumholtz trees, boulder fields, and snow and ice. After the hike, we returned to High Camp for the night. On our last day, we hiked down from High Camp–via all trails this time. But... it was over 14 miles for one day. As we made our way down the High Camp Trail, we crossed one particularly sketchy section. One false slip on the loose scree and rock meant we'd tumble down the mountainside for a few hundred feet. We took it slow and easy, haha. Once on the Pacific Crest Trail, we hiked east to Killen Creek Meadows to burn our trash in a campfire, then took a detour to an unnamed large lake. I'm henceforth naming it Fluttershy Lake!!! From one end, it provided a beautiful reflection of Mount Adams––on the other end, Mount Rainier. It took some off-trail navigation to regain the PCT, then we continued down the mountain. Once we reached the Muddy Meadows Trail, we turned left. More hiking through thick forest, until finally reaching giant Muddy Meadows. From here, Mount Adams greeted us, looming over the meadow. We crossed the Muddy Meadows Trailhead (a few cars parked here), crossed Forest Road 2329, and then crossed into Keenes Horse Camp. After taking the wrong trail for about a mile, we realized our error and hiked back to the horse camp. After a short bit of searching, we found the correct trail, Killen Connector Trail, and took it all the way back to our car waiting at the Killen Creek Trailhead. The reason for us ending at Killen Creek Trailhead rather than Muddy Meadows Trailhead was because there was an impassable washout on Road 2329 that wasn't suitable for our low-clearance vehicle. (And.... yes, there was the Killen Creek Trail, which would have cut our last day by at least 10 miles, but we wanted to go the alternate route anyways, so..., yeah. ) Hike Stats Distance: 34 miles Time to complete: 123 hours / 6 days Elevation gain: 8,000 feet Min: 3,600 feet Max: 7,510 feet Photos Day 1: Riley Trail to Riley Camp (Riley Meadow). Day 2: Riley Camp to Crystal Lake via the PCT and off-trail hiking. Day 3: Crystal Lake to Divide Camp via the PCT (in the rain). Day 4: Divide Camp (Divide Meadow) to High Camp via PCT and off-trail hiking via Adams Creek. Day 5: Day hike up to Glacier Lake (off-trail hiking). Day 6: High Camp to Muddy Meadows Trailhead via the High Camp Trail, PCT, Killen Creek Meadows use trails, Muddy Meadows Trail; then to the Killen Creek Trailhead via Killen Connector Trail (and an accidental mistake of taking the Keenes Trail).
  4. "Another day, another dungeon!" –Daring Do. I have had a lifetime passion for the outdoors, hiking, and the mountains. That led me to create the "Pony Northwest: Ponies Around the World" video (a.k.a. 'Massive 2-year Pony Hiking Project,' as called by EQD). Later on, I organized the online brony hikers community, Everfree Hikers. Combining my love for My Little Pony and hiking can be tricky (being seemingly unrelated subjects), but I found that bringing and taking photos of the ponies along on my hikes helps to connect them together nicely. Map of all my hikes in my lifetime. 2015: Purple 2014: Green 2013: Gold 2012: Red 2011: Blue Pre-2011: Pink Here are just a couple of the photos I've taken on my hikes and travels. I have hiked in Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, Alberta, California, and, (soon to be this summer), Idaho. I can't wait to get back from college to go hiking! Garibaldi Lake; Garibaldi Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada. Three Sisters from McKenzie Pass; Willamette National Forest, Oregon. Bird Creek Meadows; Mount Adams Recreation Area, Washington. Mountain Goats on Burroughs Mountain; Mount Rainier National Park, Washington. North Sister from South Mattieu Lake; Three Sisters Wilderness, Oregon. Purple Trillium on Little Huckleberry Mountain; Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington. Mount Adams from Sunrise Shortcut Trail; Dark Divide Roadless Area, Washington. (Read about the current threats to the Dark Divide here.) The Adams Glacier tumbles off of Mount Adams' northwest face; High Camp, Mount Adams Wilderness, Washington. The Painted Hills; John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon. Dry Creek Road; Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington. Between the summers of 2014 and mid-July of 2015, I created a little video featuring nearly all of the places I've brought the ponies along. This summer I hope to film a timelapse video featuring the ponies in beautiful landscapes for EQD's annual Ponies Around the World event. I love sharing these adventures with people, especially helping others find new and exciting adventures. I love helping by providing recommendations for good hikes–especially those around Mount Adams, the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, and the greater Washington state area. Mount Adams Reflection from Takhlakh Lake; Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington. Daring Do at Moraine Lake; Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. The Mighty Robson Glacier; Mount Robson Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada. Newberry Caldera, Paulina Lake, and East Lake from Paulina Peak; Newberry National Volcanic Monument, Oregon. Emperor Falls along the Berg Lake Trail in the Canadian Rockies; Mount Robson Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada. Mount Robson from the Berg Lake Trail in the Canadian Rockies; Mount Robson Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada. Mount Jefferson from Triangulation Peak; Willamette National Forest, Oregon. The Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington. Mount Adams, Mount Adams Recreation Area, Washington. Hellroaring Overlook and Mount Adams; Mount Adams Recreation Area, Washington. Columbine on Little Huckleberry Mountain Trail; Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington. Iceberg Lake and the Mazama Glacier on Mount Adams; Mount Adams Recreation Area, Washington. Cascade Pass; North Cascades National Park, Washington. Mount Adams from Muddy Meadows; Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington. Lower Falls of the Lewis River; Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington. Paulina Lake from Paulina Peak; Newberry National Volcanic Monument, Oregon. Tatoosh Range from Panorama Point; Mount Rainier National Park, Washington. Mount Adams from the Goat Rocks; Goat Rocks Wilderness, Washington. Mount Adams from the Highline Trail; Mount Adams Wilderness, Washington. Crater Lake National Park, Oregon. And finally the prettiest element of nature, Fluttershy. Art by Alasou.
  5. In mid-August, we hiked the Bird Creek Meadows Loop from Bird Lake, with a small side-trip to Hellroaring Overlook. This was our second visit to the incredibly beautiful Mount Adams Recreation Area. On our last visit, we hiked up to Iceberg Lake via the Bird Creek Meadows Trailhead, along the way passing Hellroaring Overlook and 30+ mountain goats. See that trip report here. It was incredibly beautiful! We got to hike the loop in mid-August of 2015, just before the Cougar Creek Fire swept through the area this past summer. Much of Bird Creek Meadows was spared from the fire, but everything below Bluff Lake, including Bird Lake, was consumed by the fire. We hiked the loop clockwise, starting on the Bird Lake Trail and ending on the Bluff Lake Trail. Opening Photo: Small mountainside stream at Bird Creek Meadows Here is a video/short film I put together of this area, filmed during this hike and the previous hike up to Iceberg Lake in 2014. osHWIRWwXWc Summary Distance: 5.67 mi Elevation SRTM Elevation Gain: 1149.88 ft Elevation Loss: 1149.88 ft Min Elevation: 5597.11 ft Max Elevation: 6502.62 ft ------Maps------ Here is the topo map found on the Oregon Hikers Field Guide. Read the PH/OH hiking guide here ------Trip Report------ We started at the trailhead at Bird Lake Campground. This is Bird Lake before the fire. The Trailhead: Bird Lake Trail Crossing Crooked Creek: Crossing Crooked Creek again: Crooked Creek Falls! This falls is around 50' tall, I believe. It is a gorgeous waterfall; one of my favorites on Mount Adams. Wildflowers along a mountain stream: Soon after the falls, we reached the junction with the Round the Mountain Trail: Small staircase waterfall along the Round the Mountain Trail: That dramatic lighting! I love hiking under this kind of sky. Wildflowers, oh my! We passed a small pond along the Round the Mountain Trail We then took Trail #67 to the Hellroaring Canyon Overlook: Upon nearing the overlook, we came upon a nice patch of flowers in full bloom alongside a little stream: Soon Mount Adams and the massive Hellroaring Canyon unfolded before us. Mount Adams remained mostly hidden, but the dramatic clouds and epic canyon vista made up it. The ridge on the far right is the Ridge of Wonders, and the large waterfall at center is unofficially called Hellroaring Basin Falls Little Mount Adams prominently marks the southeastern end of the Ridge of Wonders This is what the Hellroaring Overlook looks like on a clear, sunny day: Photo taken in 2014 After Hellroaring Overlook, it was getting too dark for regular photos. GPSfly Track: http://gpsfly.org/g/5629 If you are a hiker (novice or experienced) or are interested in joining a brony hiking community, consider joining the group, Everfree Hikers. We have 126 members and counting! We welcome everyone of all levels of experience. While the group is focused on hiking, we also embrace mountain biking, climbing, rafting, birding, winter sports, and camping activities! We challenge everyone to be like Daring Do and go live your own adventure! #FindYourPark #WeAreTheWild #PoniesAroundTheWorld
  6. General thread for one of my other interests: Survivalism. I believe that being able to cope in the wild is much more practical than it sounds, as you can almost never predict the next car malfunction, skiing accident, or natural disaster. This thread applies to both "emergency" scenarios (earthquakes, hurricanes, getting lost, etc) and "SHTF" apocalyptic scenarios. Some rules I'd like everyone to follow, if only out of courtesy: Keep "gun talk" to a minimum. No zombies. Zombies don't exist. No using over the top "prepper" language that no one will understand. I doubt this thread will get much attention so I made it as vague and general as possible. You can post pretty much anything that is remotely relevant. Here is an interesting acronym from the U.S. Military Survival Manual FM 21-76 to get us started. S Size up the situation (Surroundings, equipment, and physical condition). U Use all your senses. R Remember where you are. V Vanquish fear and panic. I Improvise. V Value living. A Act like the natives. L Live by your wits
  7. Would love to go there in the winter and hike along the snowy ridge. Scotland is beautiful, isn't it? Its beauty's too often overlooked. But if you just take a closer look you can't help but be awed by its fairy tale esque landscape
  8. The Dolomites in Italy. Each photo of the mountain range just takes my breath away. Can't imagine what emotions and what awe I would experience being there in the flesh
  9. One of the most majestic domesticated creatures in the world IMO. They seem to love the outdoors. Would love to own one someday. I'd take 'em hiking with me every day
  10. I started this blog hoping to inspire others to find peace, comfort, and calm amid their worrisome storms. Because life is too short to worry about little things that won't matter years from now. Chill and be happy that you're alive. Take a step back, look at today and compare it to ten or twenty years from now. The little things bothering you right now will pass. Bad days will come and go. Just look toward the rising sun or moon; look upward to the constellations or ahead to the eastern and western horizons with no end. Distract yourself with the everyday beauty of the universe. Relax and find serenity under the trees, under the stars, or under the moon. I'm just here to share thoughts, quotes, music, etc.
  11. Merry Christmas everypony! Here's this year's Christmas quickie! For those of you who don't know, a Christmas quickie is a little tradition of mine. I take a maximum of 3 hours to whip up an arrangement of one of my favorite Christmas hymns/carols! So here's Joy To The World!
  12. Hi everyone! I thought it would be fun to gather all the plant geeks, maybe we could enjoy chatting about how much we love plants! I only have one plant friend, I met her a few months ago. Up until then, I was mostly alone in my love for plants. No one gets it, or they just tell me about all the plants they've killed. It was SO wonderful being able to chat about plants, and have someone GET it! So I hope we can do the same here! If you love plants and gardening, I hope you'll find this post and share with us! Here's a form to make things easier. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ *Name: *Age: (optional) *Gender: (optional) *Why do you love plants? How did you get started? *How long have you been growing plants? *What are your favorite kind of plants? *What are you growing now? *What do you want to grow in the future? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ I'll start with mine *Name: Sakutama (not my real name obviously!) *Age: 30 *Gender: female *Why do you love plants? How did you get started? Well my mom always had plants, and BOTH my grandmas loved gardening too, so I think it runs in the family! For years I coulden't figure out why I couldn't grow plants like her. I had my "a-ha" moment when I realized my bedroom was too dark. I bought a fluorescent lamp and then my gardening REALLY took off! Thanks to the Internet, I was able to learn a lot quickly. I struggle with some plants, do great with others. But I think that's true for most gardeners, no matter how skilled they are. You never stop learning. I like to believe there's a type of plant to match a person, much like pets! *How long have you been growing plants? As long as I can remember, but only successfully in my adult years. *What are your favorite kind of plants? EVERYTHING!!! At the moment I'm focusing on my African violets. I also enjoy water lilies, I grow them in small containers on my balcony since I don't have a real garden. I'm also a sucker for any kind of blooming plant, and I LOVE varigation! The white is SO pretty! *What are you growing now? I'm focusing on African violets, mini's and micros specifically. They're SO cute! I'm working towards opening my own little shop to sell them on Etsy, and I'd like to make African violet pots too later on. *What do you want to grow in the future? More African violets! I want to try hybridizing so I can create my own original micro African violets. Tinier and cuter than ever!
  13. A moonlight glooms along on tonight Mountains great with peaks high in height Light upon green seen grass that flows Wind so gentle and settle without lows A beautiful and still sight A child I was then A beauty I remember even then Of a moonlight gloom along then A scene so serene even under the dark I made a small and memorable mark I remember of the mountains and their might I'll see it one a day once a'more in the night A moonlight glooms along on tonight So similar seemingly still, but a liar Not of winds so gentle and settles without lows Not of mountains great with peaks high in height Not of light upon green seen grass that flows I wish to see that beautiful and still sight Warm I am Under thick blankets In a room comfy without comfort White as snow of some sort My frail body with ails that ills me I wish upon the Valley in the Dark To see the moonlight that was so Serene even after light. ---- I hope you all liked the poem! Wrote it as a ballad for creative writing.
  14. Apologies for the missing equations, I am trying to figure out how to post the actual document itself. My Little Planet: Entropy is Tragic Volume One: The Celestial Mechanics of Equestria Introduction I was first introduced to the pony show by a couple of friends of mine who had three little boys and a girl; the whole family loved the show. Now, this was early 2013 so I am a bit of a latecomer to the… um, herd. My own daughter loved the show (and books, and toys), and I shamelessly used her as an excuse to watch it as well. At first, I resisted participating in the fandom, but now that I’ve written an Equestrian orbital physics paper, I guess there’s no turning back. I will start off this (very informal, plain-language) paper by briefly addressing a glaring issue from the show that caused me great mental distress, then explore the original pre-magic state of the Equestrian planetary arrangement, and wrap up by describing the magical process that changed everything and made life on our characters’ home planet possible. But first, a few side notes. Perspective and Giants’ Shoulders Science is not the only thing which fascinates me, about the show or in general. But there is a sprawling megapolis of pony fandom out there already analyzing every last drop out of this show in terms of characterization, narrative, world-building and theming. There may come a day when I can scrape together enough original thought on those subjects to add something worthwhile to the ponysphere, but for now this is where I think I can best contribute. I do really enjoy story-crafting, however, and I haven’t been this into a story since The Lion King. I have read exactly one other work on the physics of the ponyverse, so it gets cited right up front. Check out “How Celestia and Luna "Raise" the Sun and Moon” by Comet Tail on the MLPForum[1]. Comet Tail and I approach the idea of Equestrian orbital mechanics from two different directions, I focus on tidal locking and Comet Tail on retrograde and erratic orbits, a concept I really enjoyed. Last side note: I don’t consider any of this to be head canon. I think there is a difference between the extrapolation of concepts which the canon story directly implies—and even the analysis of those implications—versus real head canon, which implies the introduction of at least some new material into the story, characters, or world. Now don’t get me wrong, I likes me some head canons. I’m just going to limit the content of this paper to those things I consider direct extrapolation from the show’s story material, and straightforward analysis of that, and save the head canon for another edition. The Curious Case of the Backward Moon For all my enjoyment of the story, characters and world of Equestria, and even the scientific and philosophical implications of the world, I probably would never have committed any serious effort to exploring the subject of this paper if not for one blatant violation of sensible orbital mechanics which drove me crazy. And drove me to research. From the first moment I heard that Celestia raises and lowers the sun and Luna the moon, what my brain heard was that Celestia rotates the planet and Luna revolves the moon. Not everyone made this assumption and there are plenty of geocentric model fans out there in the ponysphere, but that is what happened in my head. This assumption stood unchallenged until the ending of the season four two-part premier, where during the Summer Sun Celebration, Princess Luna lowers the moon for all to see, and then Princess Celestia raises the sun in the same part of the sky. It was as if the moon and sun had simply swapped places with each other, with no explanation. This happens a few other times in the show, but always as a cartoony effect easily dismissed as just a fun way to move the story (also, because Discord). But in S04 E02 it is a conscious act draped in a formal ceremony. So, the sun and the moon move across the sky in opposite directions? What does that even mean? After some thought, I decided that this was either the single best geocentric argument in the whole show, or a special event that isn’t representative of a normal day in Equestria. Most of the time, a planet and moon both revolve and rotate in the same direction as the rotation of the star around which they orbit, all either clockwise or counterclockwise depending on if this is being viewed from the system’s ‘north’ or ‘south’. This is called prograde motion; when a body rotates or orbits in the opposite direction it is called retrograde motion. While retrograde orbit moons are present even in our own solar system, this phenomenon would not begin to explain a moon that appears to travel in the opposite direction across the sky as does the parent star from the viewpoint of the planet’s surface. This called apparent retrograde, and it is very different. Regardless of direction, a spinning body tends to rotate significantly faster than anything orbiting it revolves. Take our own planet and moon for example. Earth ‘spins’ or rotates in exactly one day (that is the definition of a day, after all). The moon orbits Earth in about 29.5 of these days, so either way it revolves, prograde or retrograde, it will still appear to travel east-to-west across the sky, because that’s how everything that slow appears to move due to planetary rotation. So what would have to be going on for a west-to-east moving… anything? Anything orbiting retrograde in respect to the direction of rotation of the orbited body will always appear to travel east-to-west, and anything orbiting at all at a lower angular velocity (fewer degrees per unit of time) will also appear to travel east-to-west. Only something orbiting in the prograde direction with a greater angular velocity than the rotation of the orbited body will appear to travel west-to-east. Around Earth, only artificial satellites do this. One simple reason for this is escape velocity. The further away you get from a gravity source, the less linear velocity (rate of motion through space) is required to escape its gravity well. A prograde orbiting body at geosynchronous-plus angular velocity at a distance (orbital radius) typical of moons would simply fly away into space. Or, more likely, into the nearest star. Here’s an example. The equation for escape velocity (which is a misnomer, it should just be ‘escape speed’, because any direction that doesn’t cause a collision will result in escape) is: Where G is the Universal Gravitational Constant of 6.67 x 10-11 m3 kg-1 s-2 M is the mass of the body being escaped in kilograms and r is the radius, or distance separating the two, measured center-to-center in meters. The average distance from the center of Earth to the moon is 384,399 km. At this radius, the moon’s orbit traces an ellipse 2.415250 x 109 m in circumference (2πr), or about 1.5 million miles. At exactly geosynchronous orbit, or an angular velocity of 15° per hour (360° per 24 hours), this works out to be a tangential (linear) velocity of 27,954 m/s ((2.348949 x 109 meters traversed) / (86,400 seconds in one day)), which is over 62,000 mph. The escape velocity at that same radius from Earth, a mass of 5.97219 x 1024 kg, is 1,439 m/s, or about 3,200 mph. So just to maintain position in the sky, the moon would have to exceed its planetary escape velocity by over 19 times. To actually move from west to east, it would need to go faster still. While the home planet and moon of Equestria do not need to be exact copies of Earth and its moon for the story world to work, the magnitude of impossibility involved here leads me to the conclusion that the show writers never intended to imply that Luna (or Celestia, for the millennium prior to episode 1) causes the moon to cross the sky in a west-to-east direction, even with telekinetic magic. Yet this is exactly what seems to occur in the season 4 premier, part two. My conclusion is that due to the chaos unleashed by the Plunder Seed vines’ entrapment of Celestia and Luna and their attack on the Tree of Harmony, the planet and moon of Equestria were left in very unusual positions relative to each other and their star. After all, directly after Celestia and Luna’s abduction, both the sun and moon were left hanging together in the sky, causing panic among the populace, and justifiably so. In this scenario Luna simply backed the moon down from its crazy position towards something more normal, followed by Celestia’s moving the planet back to its regularly scheduled rotation. Even this scenario involves Luna temporarily revolving the moon prograde at an insane velocity without shooting it across space like a severed tether ball, but temporary is better than routine. Either this, or the ponyverse really is geocentric. Also, the writers probably just didn’t care, and my daughter wasn’t bothered in the slightest. And then I gave Hasbro some money for a toy for her, so I guess they win. Formless and Void The show’s world building has on more than one occasion implied that without magic, life on Equestria[2] would be difficult or completely impossible. I’ve already mentioned how extremely powerful magic is required to properly rotate the planet and revolve the moon. Both of these things are crucial for planetary life to thrive. The mortal and even non-magical residents of Equestria also seem to have a part to play, as evidenced by such episodes as Winter Wrap-up, Hearth’s Warming Eve and Hurricane Fluttershy. Magic or else considerable effort is necessary or at least really helpful in seasonal procession, cloud creation, and even animal migration and hibernation. To describe what Equestria might have been like prior to the influence of magic, I need to explain two concepts: entropy and tidal locking. Entropy is essentially disorder, with a certain sense of inevitability. When a system is highly organized and complex, it is said to have very low entropy. A brass watch is complex and organized, so it has low entropy, while that same amount of brass melted and re-solidified as a nugget has higher entropy, because it is simple and disorganized. The second law of thermodynamics teaches us that the overall entropy of a system always increases when left to spontaneous (naturally occurring) forces. By investing organized effort, a system can undergo a local and/or temporary decrease in entropy (increase in order), but only at the cost of enough expended useful energy that the overall effect of a larger system is an increase in entropy. The same holds true at the scale of a planet or star system; entropy increases over time. Rotations slow down, satellites either escape or fall into their planets or stars, and ultimately, the star itself dies in one of a number of ways. Of course, the law of entropy does not take into account magic, but more on that in a moment. The second concept, tidal locking is a result of tidal bulging and braking, the subject of some discussion in the piece by Comet Tail which I referenced earlier. As a moon rotates and revolves it tends to flatten a bit due to the gravity of its planet (provided its planes of rotation and revolution are sufficiently aligned). Like any other macroscopic physical object, moons do not have uniform density, so different longitudinal cross-sections will present more or less mass than its average density would present, so this flattening is likewise not uniform. The cross-section that is flattened the most is referred to as the major axis, or simply the ‘bulge’. Once a tidal bulge emerges, it begins to alter the angular velocity of the rotating moon. As the rotation swings the major axis closer and closer into alignment with the planet’s gravitational pull, the angular velocity increases slightly, in a way falling into place. As the inertia of the moon’s rotation then begins to pull the major axis out of alignment, the angular velocity decreases, now fighting gravitational drag. This effect is referred to as ‘tidal braking’. The cumulative effect of repeated tidal braking is that the moon favors its major axis more and more, which in turn increases the severity of the bulge more and more. Eventually, the planet’s pull on the major axis is actually stronger than the force of rotational inertia, and the moon slips into a rotation period equal to its revolution period, thereby ‘tidally locking’ onto its planet. In this arrangement the same hemisphere of the moon is permanently facing the planet as in the case of our own moon. Before a moon has tidally locked to its planet (or a planet to its star), it is possible to roughly[3] approximate the time until it does so with the formula: Where w is the rotation rate (in radians per second) of the satellite a is the average of the perigee and apogee of the satellite’s orbit (in meters) I is the satellite’s moment of inertia (in square meter kilograms), which can be estimated as (0.4)(ms)(R2) Q is the dissipation function of the satellite (no units), which can be estimated as 100 G is the Universal Gravitational Constant mp is the mass of the orbited body (in kilograms) k2 is the tidal Love number of the satellite (no units), which can be estimated as much less than 1 (typically around 0.1 for a mostly solid satellite) R is the average radius of the satellite (in meters) and ms (from the description of I) is the mass of the satellite (in kilograms). Examples of tidal locking are all over our solar system. Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune all have moons tidally locked to them, and Pluto and its satellite Charon are tidally locked to each other. What does this have to do with Equestria? Well, hopefully it’s clear that these two concepts are related. Tidal bulging, braking and locking are all examples of the unstoppable march of entropy on a lunar and planetary scale. As time goes on, orbital mechanics slip from complex arrangements into straightforward ones, which are sadly ineffective at supporting life. A tidally locked moon is not unusual, but an otherwise M-class planet tidally locked to its star would be completely uninhabitable, a blistering super-desert on the sun-ward hemisphere and frozen perpetual night on the other. This is the cataclysm that Celestia and Luna guard their subjects from, absolute extinction across the entire planet. Let There be Magic There isn’t too much detail I can offer as to exactly how the alicorns would have gone about decreasing entropy and resetting the required rotations and revolutions without getting into head canon territory, which I pledged not to do in this volume. But here’s what I have: According to what I perceive the story has told us about its world, this was the original, no-magic state of the Equestrian solar system. A planet locked onto its star, unable to rotate beyond its revolution around the star, unable to support life. A moon not only locked onto its planet Earth-style, but also tidally ‘pinned’ in place between the planet and the star, its revolution in sync with the planet’s revolution. This moon would appear to hover directly above the planet’s surface at exactly the sun-ward pole, casting an unmoving solar eclipse shadow on the surface of the planet’s desert side, creating a small area of shade, assuming a roughly Earth-like size-and-distance arrangement. Solar magic is required to rotate the planet any faster than its one day per year rate, and lunar magic to revolve the moon any faster than its one month per year rate. It seems most likely that once the alicorns (whoever they were and wherever they came from) decided to revive Equestria’s ability to sustain life (for whatever reasons), they would have first begun to accelerate the rotation of the planet, as this is absolutely necessary and the change requiring the most energy. But there’s a problem. The moon is locked on to the planet’s tidal bulge axis too strongly. As the alicorns accelerate the rotation of the planet, the moon tries to match angular velocity to maintain its position relative to the planet’s surface. But the star’s gravity pulls it back, threatening to tear the satellite apart. So the alicorns would then have to exert magical force to slow down the moon’s revolution as the planet continued to spin faster and faster. The moon’s orbit would still be accelerating (from one per year to the order of 101), just not as rapidly or as high as the acceleration of the planet’s rotation (from one per year to the order of 102). With the planet now rotating hundreds of times per revolution and the moon now revolving tens of times in the same time period, key changes begin to happen. The hemisphere-spanning super glacier begins to melt, evaporate, and partially refreeze in a daily cycle, causing intense flooding and erosion. The desert cools and gigantic storm fronts race around the globe as the planet’s rotation and cycles of heating and cooling the atmosphere rapidly change temperature and pressure. The revolving moon now pushes and pulls the emerging liquid water in a tidal bulging sequence of its own, beginning to delineate land from sea. Assuming the planet has the internal structure of one at all capable of sustaining familiar life, the now spinning core begins to assert a discernable geomagnetic field and trap energetic particles into its magnetosphere and plasmasphere. This provides an increasingly strong shield against dangerous particles and electromagnetic radiation from space, restoring some habitability to the planet. After these and many other effects have emerged and stabilized, two last pieces of the puzzle remain, neither of which is assigned a patron alicorn in the show like Celestia and Luna. The first of these is planetary tilt. At full planetary tidal lock, there would be no rotational tilt, no angle separating the planes of planetary rotation and revolution. But tilt is required for seasonal procession, and Equestria definitely has seasons. The final element of a restored living planet is of course biological life. How the various life forms were created or restored must remain purely in the realm of head cannon, however. All we know is that on Equestria all of ponykind, and perhaps other sentient species are active participants in the march of time. Seasons, weather and the life cycles of other forms of life are enabled and guided by mortal hooves. Well, there you have it. I hope you’ve enjoyed my paper and that whatever amount of time you just spent reading it was not wasted. I would (probably) enjoy your comments and questions. Next: Devolution, Natural Selection and Immortality Soon: Talent, Choice and Cute Marks of Destiny Later: Twilight and the Divine Harmony About the Author The author is currently serving as a Senior Scientific and Technical Analyst at the National Air and Space Intelligence Center in Dayton, Ohio. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Malone University in Canton, Ohio as well as Associate of Applied Sciences degrees in Intelligence Studies & Technology and in Scientific Applications Technology. He and his wife live in the Dayton area with their daughter, who loves the ponies, especially as toys gathered around a play tea set. [1] http://mlpforums.com/topic/27530-how-celestia-and-luna-raise-the-sun-and-moon/ [2] For the rest of this paper, rather than invent a name for the planet, I will refer to both the realm ruled by Celestia as well as the actual planet which hosts that realm as “Equestria”. Which is meant should remain clear in context. [3] No, really, it’s pretty rough: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tidally_locked#Timescale
  15. It is 4 degrees Celsius, a perfectly clear night, and I can see every single star a human can see it seems. I wonder how many of them are not stars? ... Either way, it is a nice night. I am glad I have a laptop to take outside for this.
  16. Hi there, not sure if there's someplace I was supposed to put this kind of thing already or not, if there was I'm sorry and please direct me to the proper place. So I was looking around on my computer and found some sort-of older nature pictures that I took, and some were pretty cool. I separated most of the good from the meh and decided to show what I've got. To give you a general idea of some of the pics: I got some nice pictures of things like: Just nature, a small whirlpool (in a stream) that you could see almost all the way down to it's end, birds(Some common ones(One of which stole nearly an entire tortilla) and some not so common), and a couple of insects(Butterflies and a Dragonfly).
  17. Honestly what the title says xD Whats your favorite place, whats the kind of natural habitat you like the most. What makes you feel the most relaxed. Mine is rather dense forest, partly because I have one rather near my home
  18. I am not sure if this has been done, hopefully not. Well I am wondering what one of the most beautiful sights you have seen is. It could be anything from Nature to a sight of a Building. Me personally I remember when I came to Blackpool for a Holiday when I was young and I went to the top of Blackpool Tower and because of how normal my life is that view was amazing. Now then what is a sight you saw that had you staring for what felt like an eternity.
  19. Two of the most ferocious predators meet in a death battle in the Australian seas. WHO WINS? WHO LOSES? WHO DIES? Round 1: Both are 100 ft away from each other, but immediately sense one another. The water here is 30 ft deep. Who gets the first bite? Round 2: 40 ft away, striking against each other. Who bites who? The water here is not very deep. Around 10 ft. Round 3: The shark is hidden in deep water of about 150 ft. Can the croc sense the shark and attack him? Can the shark sneak up to the croc? Round 4: [Not an actual fight] Who's stronger(in bite)? Who's faster (speed)? Who's more agile (agility)? Who's more durable (durability)? Who's more agressive? Who has the more important weaknesses? YOU DECIDE! Epic background music: In case of favouritism, and not criticism, there's also a poll. Be fair, please.
  20. Like Earth, birds are everywhere in Equestria; anyone with even an inkling of natural history knows they're actually the last surviving members of Dinosauria. By that logic, their relatives may have once roamed the very lands now inhabited by ponies. Maybe some lucky explorer will find their fossils in the Badlands or just outside Appleloosa... is that too much of a stretch?
  21. Here's a remix I just finished last night. It's a nature ensemble remix of "Music in the Treetops" Critique is wanted! https://pony.fm/tracks/2211-music-in-the-treetops20-sweeter-nature-ensemble-remix
  22. I honestly cannot seem to make up my mind as to what I want to do with my life. I am uncertain as to what degree, major, or career to go for. I'm doing this project in Economics which requires me to list three potential careers I am considering for my future and I have to find what college major would be most appropriate for each. I can't even particularize three careers I want to go for. I have numerous thoughts and ideas for multiple majors I can go into and many career paths I could take but I cannot specify three in particular that I would want to pursue. First off, here is every major I have ever considered thus far: Economics Finance Accountancy Business Administration Entrepreneurship Business Management Communication History English/Literature Graphic Design Web Design Software Engineering Geology Meteorology Physics Astronomy Culinary Arts Liberal Arts Engineering Botany Biology Medical Science Psychology Sociology Environmental Science That just about sums it up. The ones that are crossed out are, at this point, hopeless endeavors. Gave up pursuing those years and years ago. The ones that are italicized are ones that have been more profound interests of mine for many years now. Though I'm afraid I may not have the mental capacity to endeavor in those fields due to the immense amount of science and highly advanced mathematics that they may entail (e.g. Trigonometry, Calculus, Linear Algebra, Integrals, etc). Mathematics is indubitably my greatest weakness here. A lack of confidence is also another weakness of mine which may hinder me from pursuing anything in Business and Communication. I do not think I have the leadership-like mentality to handle much in the business field, as much as it intrigues me. Economics, Finance, and Accountancy may also be quite rigorous due the immensity of number crunching and the fact that I am not even sure if I want to actually pursue the careers of such fields. It is practical and it will grant me much pay which is good but will I enjoy it? I don't know. Overall, I feel as though I am struggling to balance out these two factors: Practicality vs. Recreation Many of the aforementioned majors and fields of study I have listed are quite practical. Almost half of what I listed just so happens to be statistically among the highest paying majors in America. Whether it be Economics, Finance, or the field of Medical Science - these are all good paying jobs which would endow me with more than enough yearly income to buy a house and support a family. Sounds great! Sounds ideal. But do I have what it takes? I don't know. I have never been good at mathematics. It was only until last year that I barely began grasping the concept of Geometry and a little bit of Algebra. I've been doing well in my Algebra II class this year insofar that I may be able to pass by the time the school year ends. I am currently going through my last and final year at high school as a senior. With only around four more months remaining. Then that's it. I am done with high school forever. After this ensuing summer will be the start of my first year at a two-year community college. It's all general education and after that, I will have the ability to go to a university of my choice and finish off my remaining two-three years and get a bachelors degree. In what though? I have no idea. After going through much thought, contemplation, and self-evaluation, I realize what my true passions are - I am immensely fascinated with human behavior - whether it be by an individual or group and the underlying reasons for that. I admire reading about history and studying the various cultures and past civilizations. I am also greatly enthralled by the beauty of nature; the mountains, the trees, the plants, the atmosphere and both its tranquil and tempestuous nature. I know. I seem to have the potential to partake in the studies of Psychology, Sociology, History (some particular area), Environmental Science, etc. Yes, both the various sciences and the humanities fascinate me to an extent but the very thought of having to process numbers and complex equations gives me great trepidation. I'm okay with a certain degree of math but I am not sure if I have the potential to master it enough to where I can familiarize myself with its essence and use it as a valuable asset in assisting me to reach my dreamy endeavors. All I know is that I want to experience nature at her fullest potential! I want to live among the mountainous heavens. I want to live in peace and I want my future family to live with me in the realm of nature and experience her beauty altogether. I want to be knowledgeable in the sciences of nature and humanity and know all the various humanities - art, history, philosophy, etc. But how will such endeavors support me? How will I get a job with such passions? I don't want to be stuck in an office counting numbers for the rest of my life but that may be my most reliable option; the most practical approach to life I can take. I just feel so lost right now.. I just want to make my life an adventure; an adventure I can someday look back and remember and proudly reflect on...
  23. I know some people don't believe in Atlantis, but their has been lots of scientific proof. I believe in it. And the discoveries have been breathtaking. So do you believe in Atlantis?
  24. So, I just participated in a thread about banishment to the moon, and my argument was that Luna is different from everypony else, so the same rules might not apply. Then when I read a thread about the Sisters' hair flowing, I just started wondering. Exactly what are the Celestial Sisters? Their past is shrouded in mystery, and they are immortal and godlike. There are things which separate the sisters from all other alicorns, and ponies in general. Their flowing mane, their birth as alicorns, their immortal status, and influence over nature itself all mark them as unique figures who are almost on a completely separate level from anypony else in Equestria, save Discord. Are they even of the pony race? Here is what I personally propose. Celestia and Luna seem to be very similar to Greek gods of nature in many respects. I think that Celestia and Luna are most likely spirits of some kind, or represent some type of pony from ages long past. They are tied to Nature, and seem to be in a separate class altogether from anypony else. So, what is the nature of this class of being? Are they gods? Spirits? Where did they come from? How are they related to ponies, if at all? What are your thoughts everpony?